If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that I love Evernote. Two years ago I wrote a book about using it as the basis of a paperless home management binder, but I’ve been using Evernote for at least five years now. I’ve refined how I use it, I’ve talked with other moms who use it, and I’ve noticed online that there are many more people curious about it than people actually using it, so I thought it’d make a great blog series: How to use Evernote for homeschooling.
Why homeschool moms should use Evernote
Evernote is basically a digital blank canvas. It’s a bucket into which you can put anything: text notes, pictures, scans, pdfs, emails. Think of Evernote as your digital filing cabinet. Mostly it holds what has been paper in your life, but what doesn’t have to be paper anymore.
Your digital filing cabinet means that you don’t have to deal with and sort through so much paper – and also don’t have to worry about losing notes, spilling coffee on them, or keeping them filed just so. Better yet, rather than remember where you put a note, you can simply search for it – “Google” straight in your filing cabinet and it pulls up what you are looking for.
After all, being able to search, from my desktop, inside every document, my contacts, and my calendar all at once is the biggest boon of digital information. Flipping through a binder or file folder or pile, wondering just what you did with that list you are sure you made? A thing of the past.
A homeschool Evernote system allows you the ability to find the information you need by searching for it, to expand the amount of information you save and generate without taking up any more space, to shrink your paper files by digitizing and then shredding them, and to easily share information with your husband, grandparents, or friends.
So don’t let your gadgets go to waste; use them to make your life simpler.
It seems like the biggest stumbling block homeschool moms have to using Evernote for their home or homeschooling is the hurdle of not knowing how to start, combined with a fear of learning a new set of tricks and of not doing it “right.”
So, let me hold your hand and show you how easy it really is.
How to organize Evernote for homeschooling
Don’t miss the download at the end of this post with set-up instructions in a handy, compact, visual pdf!
First, you will need to create a free Evernote account.
Then, when you open it up, you have one big empty bucket and it can be paralyzing to know what to do next.
Before we get started creating your filing system, let me clarify the Evernote terminology.
- A note is a note – like one sheet of paper – that can hold text and images.
- A note is kept in a notebook, a file folder holding as many notes as you want.
- Notebooks can be collected together into stacks of related notebooks.
Looking at it like an outline, it would go like this:
So, we’ll start by creating the stacks. You’ll want to be in the “notebook view,” create a few notebooks, then drag them together to form a stack.
You’ll want at least these homeschool stacks: Reference: Homeschool with notebooks of saved information and big picture plans, School Year 2015 for current plans and notes, and Records: Homeschool for previous years’ plans and information.
For the rest of the series we’ll be creating more notebooks and notes to fill in your Evernote structure.
To make your Evernote more useful, you’ll also want to drag that current school year stack into your shortcut bar. Click on and drag the icon over to the far left, as shown here:
With your Evernote installed, a few stacks created, and your shortcut menu set up, you’ll be ready to follow along with the rest of this series as we fill up our Evernote with handy homeschool plans, resources, research, and more!
And just for you I have this clear, easy-to-follow, screen-shot instructions for setting up Evernote for Homeschooling for the first time. Download it for free! The download link will come by email when you sign up here:
What do you want to use Evernote for? What are your Evernote questions? Let me know and I’ll try to address them during this series!
Other posts in this series:
- How to use Evernote for Homeschooling
- Use Evernote as Your Homeschool Inspiration Board
- How to Quickly Get Anything into Evernote
- Use Evernote for Homeschool Book Lists
- Evernote Tips for Homeschool Moms
- Use Evernote for Homeschool Planning
- Plan a Homeschool Year in Evernote
- How to make homeschool lesson plans in Evernote
- How to Use Evernote for Loop Schedules